Posted by: bevmeldrum | October 15, 2007

Learning to Live Without Constant Email

One of the tips I tell my clients is to limit the number of times a day they check their email rather than responding each time an email comes in I encourage to take control and to fit checking email into their schedule rather than let it rule their lives.

I had set my schedule so that I check my email twice a day – once at 11am and then again at 4pm. If people need to get hold of me in between these times they can phone me on my mobile. This was all working rather well until I decided to put my email on my pda/phone.

I didn’t realise I was doing it at first but gradually I began to check email in between these times. If I was out and about and had nothing to do whilst waiting for a bus or for my next appointment I would check my email – just briefly, just to see if anyone had sent anything important.

This is exactly what I had been telling my clients not to do – reading your emails as and when they come in means that you end up reacting to everyone else’s agenda, what they want from you, rather than what you have decided is important for you to focus on today.

I had fallen back into the trap of checking my emails constantly – I was surprised at how easy it was to fall back into that habit.

So I made a decision to remove my emails from my phone. It was a bit of a shock to the system. I felt unconnected, out of touch and worried that I was missing something important. Turns out it was all fine.

Now I’m back to checking my emails twice a day (although I do get the occasional urge to check them – just in case anything important comes in). It does just make my working day so much easier and I feel like I get so much more done because the things I am doing are those things that I have decided are priorities for the day not what someone else thinks is important for me to spend my day on. I also find it much easier and quicker to process a batch of emails in one go rather than flicking to and from my email program.

If you are the sort of person that checks your email constantly try not doing it for a day. Just check it at 11am and 4pm and see what happens. Does anyone actually notice? How do you feel? How has your day gone?



  1. […] Bev Meldrum Wrote an interesting post today on formorethanprofit.wordpress.comThe first paragraph is here: […]

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